After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, Super Happy Buffet, restaurant based in California, will pay $65,704 to 10 employees for minimum wage, overtime, and record keeping violations of the Fair LaborStandards Act (FLSA).
Investigators from the Department of Labor discovered that Super Happy Buffet paid employees either fixed salaries or day rates without regard to the number of hours they actually worked. These practices resulted in earnings below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Although the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, it is important to note minimum wage varies by state and in New York it ranges from $10.40 to $13.00 per hour depending on size of employer and location. In New York, restaurants are allowed to use a “tip credit”, which means employers can pay tipped employees at a tipped minimum wage rate, ranging from $7.50 to $8.65.
The practice also resulted in overtime violations when employees worked more than 40 hours in a week. The FLSA requires employees be paid at a rate of one and a half times their regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The employer’s failure to keep time records also resulted in record keeping violations under the FLSA.
“Employers must pay their employees all the wages they have legally earned for all the hours they have worked,” said a representative of the Department of Labor. “Ensuring that employees receive the wages they rightfully earned also guarantees that all employers compete on a fair and level playing field.”